[pagebreak] Guide Burnout
Ron Mace guided for gun and bow elk hunts in Montana's Bitterroot Valley from 1995 to 1999, after attending the Royal Tine guiding school in Philipsburg, Mont. Mace was 21 when he started guiding. A resident of eastern Washington State, he spent his teen years hunting and fishing and loving the outdoors. He loved being a hunting guide, too. In the beginning, anyway. Mace went into the Bitterroot Valley in August to set up the hunting camps and make the necessary preparations for hunting season. That season ended in November, and Mace remembers that he and the other newly minted guides got back into town only once or twice a hunting season, for just a single night each time. But he didn't mind. In fact, he loved it. "It was what we all wanted. We were young and gung ho and didn't care how long we stayed out there," he says.